The December Cass Freight Indexes followed expected seasonal trends with a 6.3 percent drop in shipment volume and a matching 6.7 percent decline in freight spending. However, the December figures mark the highest end ‐of‐year values for both indexes since the beginning of the recession in 2007.
A labor dispute between terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their workers took another turn Tuesday, with operators being ordered to completely stop loading and unloading ships at night, starting Tuesday night.
Cargo traffic at several of the biggest U.S. West Coast ports has slowed to near gridlock, negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators for 29 ports said on Monday as contract talks with the dockworkers’ union remain strained.
Year-over-year import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to continue to rise during most of the first half of 2015 despite significant congestion still impacting West Coast ports, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.
There is no post-holiday lull for the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The ports continue to experience congestion that delays shipment of goods through Inland Southern California to the rest of the nation. Lee Peterson, spokesman for the Port of Long Beach, estimated there is currently an average of six container ships waiting to get into the ports. Those ships are likely carrying clothing to go on sale around Easter and building supplies for spring construction projects, he said in a phone interview.
U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $108.2 billion in October 2014 as three transportation modes – air, rail, and trucks – carried more U.S.-NAFTA freight than in October 2013, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). October 2014 was the highest month on record for the value of U.S.-NAFTA trade flows, not adjusted for inflation.
With news coming this week that the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) will work with the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in hopes of helping the sides find a way to come to an agreement over stalled labor negotiations, what happens now remains to be seen.
Allison Beck, Acting Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, issued the following statement today on the labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA):
The Acting Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Allison Beck) released a statement on Monday night indicating that both the ILWU (International Longshore Warehouse Union) and PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) have agreed to mediation assistance.